Six Reasons Bands Break Up

Categories: Lists

All illustrations by Curtis Tinsley
Breakups are often easy to categorize.

By Joseph Hess

While Aerosmith still flails around in a body without bones, propped up by the hot air of its backward-cap-wearing fanbase, most sensible bands know when to call it quits. Sure, reunion tours are a thing, but those tend to happen on the stinking fumes of nostalgia, and they serve to fuel the now-meager drug habits that were once respectable addictions.

Everyone calls it quits at some point. Being in a band is hard work -- coordinating schedules, dealing with flakes, and actually hammering out a tolerable song or two is damn near a miracle for some. But those who break through are destined to quit at some point, and here's why.

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Five Overlooked '90s Alt-Rock Albums You Should Revisit

Categories: Lists, Nostalgia

Would this grungy crew recommend these records?

News flash: The 1990s are back.

You already knew this; I did too. The music and culture that defined the Alternative Nation-era are everywhere. Still, when I passed throngs of teenagers in the mall last week (don't ask) wearing Doc Martens, ripped stockings and "vintage" Nirvana shirts on the way to J.C. Penney's "Doorbuster!" sale (don't ask), I didn't expect to find their attire actually at the J.C. Penney.

That got me thinking: What a weird time that was. Alt-rock had become a big-business commodity almost overnight, but who knew exactly where alt-rock began and ended?

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Six Reasons to Never Have Sex With a DJ

Categories: Lists

Just like that douche did to Kate Hudson in Almost Famous, your DJ beau will trade you in for beer and make you cry.

By Kat Bein

Correction: This article originally contained an incorrect byline. It was written by Kat Bein, not Katie Bain. Up on the Sun regrets the error.

Calm down, party girl/boy. Before you go flaunting your shiz in the face of the selector, think about what you're really getting yourself into.

Sure, dating (or even just fucking) a DJ seems like it would be a perk-filled romp through Awesomeville's romance district. Your new beau will not only shower you with ego-stroking affection, but (s)he comes with an endless playlist of sick tunes, free drinks, free drugs, VIP access, and the ability to skip any line imaginable.

Well, you can stop right there. Because even if you get any one of those things up front, you can pretty much bet that it's going to end badly. Then you're going to feel like an idiot and a prostitute. How do we know? We've been there. Learn from our mistakes.

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10 Vacant Buildings Around Phoenix That Should Be Music Venues

Categories: Lists

Benjamin Leatherman
The old Circles Records and Tapes location on Central Avenue.
If there's one thing that Metro Phoenix has no shortage of, it's vacant buildings. Thanks to the Great Recession and the ever-fickle whims of consumers, and the normal failure rate of any business, our area is littered with scores of available spaces or shuttered enterprises.

Some will eventually be reborn as new projects or concepts, including those devoted to nightlife or featuring live music. It's no secret that we're big fans of both adaptive reuse and local music venues, so its groovy whenever the two intersect and a new concert joint or rock bar opens some formerly vacant space. That goes double if it happens to be in some vintage building.

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11 New Sponsor Ideas for US Airways Center

Categories: Lists

Ken Lund/Flickr
How about one of these names for the arena?
US Airways and American Airlines merged at the end of last year, and in 2015, the airline formerly know as US Airways' sponsorship deal for the downtown Phoenix arena currently bearing its name will end. American Airlines already has the American Airlines Center in Dallas and the American Airlines Arena in Miami, so there's no need for the company to buy the naming rights to a third NBA arena. That creates a gap for an opportunistic re-branding of the 22-year-old venue, which is currently hosts the home games for the Phoenix Suns, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, and the AFL's Arizona Rattlers, as well as a slew of concerts throughout the year. While no one can say for sure what the future holds for the arena downtown that bears the airline's name, we're thinking ahead for possible new names for Ye Olde America West Arena.

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Forty '90s Albums That Still Hold Up

The cover of U2's Achtung Baby

Steve Wiley is Up on the Sun's resident Record Store Geek. He shares stories of great music and wacky characters from his continuing 27 years in Valley record stores and the always zany music biz.

At the end of July, I wrote about Five Reasons I Don't Write About New Music, the most important of which is that new music hasn't stood the test of time. I prefer to talk about the stuff that holds up.

Over the years, I've given you all recommendations on jazz, blues, soul, even Brazilian music. I explained which decade of music was the best ('67-'77), and I even made a list of great albums from the worst decade (The '80s, duh).

But I haven't gotten a chance to lead you through the '90s ... and whether you like it or not, my aging brothers and sisters, that decade started almost 25 years ago! No time like the present, so here's 40 Albums From the '90s That Still Hold Up.

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Bands That Replaced Irreplaceable Members (And Those That Shouldn't Have)

Categories: Lists


Cable television is confounding, for sure, and the inevitable question often arises: "All these channels and nothing to watch? What the ______?" Recently, I was having one of these moments until I stumbled across an interview/live performance show on the Audience Network called Guitar Center Sessions. This one caught my eye because it featured Alice in Chains. I got curious. Who is this new singer? How could they try to keep it going without Layne Staley?

Of course, this only brought up more thinking, which is never encouraged by any discernible taste-making entity, but darn it, thinking is so fun and on that particular afternoon, I wondered, what other bands have replaced seemingly irreplaceable members and either failed miserably or been successful? Obviously, it is way more fun to write about the bands who have failed miserably, but I also have to be fair and give credit where credit is due.

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Best Metal Concerts to See in Phoenix in September

Victor Palagano
Rob Zombie is coming to Phoenix later in September.

Our desert summer is finally winding down; and really, it wasn't so bad, now was it? It's probably in part to the awesome parade of metal shows that came through our fair state since the music industry's touring season was in full swing. Either way, at least the September nights will only be in the 90s when you're leaving those sweat- and blood-drenched mosh pits.

September is filled to the brim with heavy metal shows around Metro Phoenix, thanks to concerts and gigs by locals and major international legends. As such, we're on the lookout for the best upcoming shows.

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Pop Music Plagiarism's Worst Offenses: A History

Categories: Lists

Epic Records
Avril Lavigne
By Luke Winkie

Nobody has written an original rock song since 1953, and the entire music industry is founded on exchanging blurry photocopies of other people's work. Sure, some art is outright plagiarism, but even when it's in a gray area, it's an opportunity for cash. Case in point: Australian psych band Tame Impala is currently fielding accusations that its song "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards" rips off Argentinian singer Pablo Ruiz's "Océano." This is a song that the members of the band have likely never, ever heard. We'll see if their lawyer can make that case.

Over the years, music-plagiarism accusations have hit some of pop music's most popular artists. Here are eight of the highest-profile cases.

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10 Underrated Punk Albums That Should Be Considered Classics

Categories: Lists, Punk


It's odd that people who have never met me want to punch me in the throat. Perhaps it's akin to what people like Sean Hannity and Joe Arpaio experience on a daily basis, although I would never want to be compared to them. Luckily, I feel safe in saying there is no comparison. All I've done is tell the story of how my bandmate once hit Danzig and then give my opinion on why a few albums that some people consider classics are really not that great. Again, key words, my opinion.

Anyhow, some of the people who wanted to punch me also suggested I write more positively about albums rather than put anybody down. A few even said I should write about "underrated" albums, and I thought it was a great idea. I'm sure you still might want to punch me, and that is okay. To be honest, there are people I'd like to punch, so I truly understand your frustration. The following albums are in no particular order, so please don't stalk my dog because I put your favorite of these at number four and you think it should be number one, dear reader. Some of them are by well-known bands, too, but I just don't think the records get the recognition they deserve.

So, without further delay, 10 underrated punk albums you should listen to again.

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